HALLOWELL – Maine regulators have cut Emera Maine’s proposed rate increase by nearly half but AARP Maine says the 5.34-percent increase is still too high.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday reduced Emera Maine’s request for a 12-percent boost in the distribution portion of customers’ bills.

AARP Maine State Director Lori Parham said the organization was disappointed that the panel allowed a third rate increase in just five years. She said customers, especially those on fixed incomes, will find “any rate increase to be a hardship.”

The 5.34-percent rate increase will raise $4.48 million for the utility.

Emera Maine spokeswoman Judy Long said the federal tax cut factored into regulators’ decision. Parham said the tax break should’ve been passed along to customers.

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